Asterisk

Asterisk (n) :a symbol (*) used to mark printed or written text, typically as a reference to an annotationdictionary with letter A

I had to chuckle.

On one occasion, I found myself invited to write an article about a white supremacist organization that was just forming in the state of Louisiana.

Actually, I volunteered for the opportunity.

Where some people would find such rhetoric and prejudice to be intolerable, I have developed a sense of humor about all human activity, including my own.

If you think of us, as a race, as being comic relief to the mind of God on this stage of earth, then you’re much more likely to be merciful–and also prepared to discover your own flubs and dropped lines.

So as I listened to the keynote speaker of this organization espouse his defenses of their well-known bigotries, I kept envisioning that surrounding his entire mouth should be a collage of asterisks.

The purpose of these implements would be to refer you to an explanation–or at least an excuse–of why this person is saying these far-fetched things.

In other words, when he proclaimed that “black people were really monkeys,” I saw the asterisk next to his words, and went to the bottom of the page and read the explanation, which was as follows:

“This is a man who is very insecure about himself and his sexuality, who feels threatened by men with dark skin.”

It became quite a game for me.

I was able to discover the background, and even the bibliography, for each of his contentions, which always pointed to a sense of inadequacy he projected as weakness onto individuals of a different hue.

I think the leaders of the organization were surprised how jolly I was through the whole event, expecting me to become infuriated and walk out.

But thanks to my comical asterisks, which I used to decorate his speech, I was not only able to survive it, but was also completely prepared to ascertain the source of such hatred.

 

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Archaic

dictionary with letter A

Archaic (adj): very old or old-fashioned

I am of the belief that human beings do need things in their lives that are “fashioned.”

Yes–well-constructed, organized, purposeful, sensitive, gentle, aware and involved.

Without these “fashioned” virtues, we begin to rely on our own understanding and become a prideful lot, not worthy of interaction.

Unfortunately, no one ever uses the word “fashioned” without adding the prefix “old.” So at the whim of any cynical individual lies the weapon to disembowel great ideas, emotions and courtesy.

We also can attack art because it dares to reflect a stream of intelligence from a former time.

Certainly music cannot contain any beat, lyric or sentiment that was ever expressed before, lest we become slaves to our history instead of innovators in techno-pop.

Here’s my criterion for determining whether to use something that is well-fashioned: has it survived the past, still works today and has all the signs of being universal for the future? If the answer is yes, it is not archaic, just underused.

So I am not going to be discourteous just because the tendency leans in that direction.

I’m not going to be surly in order to appear focused and stubbornly irreversible.

I’m not going to reject the beauty of poetry because a generation of numbskulls have deemed it corny.

And I’m certainly not going to follow the bigotries of my time which have been conquered–often by the blood of martyrs.

Before you call something archaic and throw it in the trash-heap labeled “old-fashioned,” just make sure we can actually live without it.

 

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Anti-pope

dictionary with letter A

Antipope: (n) a person established as pope in opposition to the one perceived by others to have been canonically selected.

I am not afraid to listen to ideas or read opinions that are contrary to my personal likes or philosophy.

I am certainly not impartial as I read, but I try to comprehend what is offered to me in the composition and f out if there’s anything that can stimulate my brain to greater understanding.

Yet I have to tell you this–the article I read yesterday, which postured intellectually on the legitimacy of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, was basically the same old brick-and-mortar construction that has been put forth for years to undermine the notion, or maybe even the need, for a savior.

I guess all of us, when we’re entrenched in our attitudes (which certainly borderline on sin) are greatly displeased by the concept of repentance or anyone who would even embody such a ridiculous requirement.

But it doesn’t change the need of our species to be emotionally enlightened, spiritually cleansed, mentally rejuvenated and physically inputted to our healthier good.

I will go so far as to say that believing that Jesus of Nazareth lived is essential to our well-being as we continue to search for “jesus like” people in our own generation, to confirm the promise that we are neither as self-sufficient as we believe nor as depraved.

It’s why the Catholics have a pope. And he has a hat, which means he has a human head.

And if for some reason that pope decides to be a “company man” instead of a personal adjudicator for the masses, then we create an anti-pope.

We need human beings to confirm that we’re not just a group of apes with a mortgage.

Every time a society declines into the depths, attacking spirituality and ceasing to believe that a savior, a pope, an artist or a philosopher can arise from our midst to challenge us to better ideals, we end up in war, strife and succumbing to our latent bigotries.

So if the pope don’t work, we create an anti-pope. And if he don’t work, we look for another human in our generation who still believes in the ideals of a Nazarene named Jesus. Without this, we don’t become a secular society which is free of the intimidation of religion.

No, we become lonely travelers who believe that survival is more important than compassion.

 

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